1.) Create new traditions. One spouse is often more despondent about the breakup than the other. During the holidays, the impact of divorce for this spouse can feel a bit like a sledgehammer. He or she may lament the holiday family traditions that will be no longer. Beware of stepping into this pothole by actively creating new holiday traditions. Google “what to do over the holidays in Dallas” and be blown away by the array of opportunities to get out and about with your kids during the holidays.
2.) Use your time. When your kids are with the ex, do not sit at home and watch Netflix. Even if it really is good quality television. Get out and meet up with friends who you haven’t seen in too long. You know the ones. Get a massage, pedicure, or both. Meditate. Bungee jump. Do not hibernate.
3.) Communicate on gifts. Even if you would rather talk to anyone else on planet earth, be transparent and communicative with your ex on your plans for gifts for the kids. First, you do not want to duplicate presents, and second, you do not want to fall into the habit of buying your kids when you feel guilty. Their memories are long. The cliché is cliché because it’s true: your kids want your time and attention. Really.
4.) Be flexible. The traffic is horrendous and your ex’s holiday party ran over. He needs to please pick up the kids at six instead of five thirty. Is this really the issue you want to twist into Armageddon? You should probably save this meltdown for something that matters. Odds are, it will come up eventually. Do not waste your capital.
5.) Take care of yourself. Doing regular life plus holidays plus divorce would stress out anybody. Remember self-care. Take a walk. Talk to your neighbor. Eat well. Make it a mantra if you have to: compassion does good for us all eventually. Being our better selves makes us feel better.